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The Person I Have Become

By @Krystalyn_Fountain

One

“Beep-beep! Beep-beep! Crash!” I bolt up in bed, looking around wildly. “What the?!” My gaze falls on my cat, who is sitting on my knocked-over nightstand, washing her paw.

“Butterscotch!” I scold as I untangle myself from my blankets. “How many times do I have to tell you? My alarm clock is not a toy!” Butterscotch blinks at me with casual disregard as I stand up. “It’s not even mine. I don’t have the money to replace it if you break it.” She flicks her tail in irritation as I pick her up so I can clean up the mess she made.

I sigh, “Oh Scotchy, what am I going to do with you?” I hear steps coming up the stairs down the hall and smile.

“You up yet, Kathy?”

“I am now,” I call back. The only person who calls me Kathy and gets away with it is my foster mother, Raina Thompson. “Scotchy jumped on the clock again.”

“So I heard,” I hear her chuckle through the door, “Come down once you’re dressed, it’s pancakes today.”

“Yay! I’ll be down in a few, Ray,” I smile, Raina’s pancakes are the best. I hear steps move away from the door as I turn to my dresser.

I pull out my clothes, then turn to grab my brush, sighing over my limp, jet-black hair. I continue talking to Butterscotch, “You know, Scotchy, I wish my hair wasn’t so straight. It always looks like I plopped a long, black mop on my head.” My hair comes down to my waist, but lacks any shape, I usually just pull it back in a braid, if only to keep it out of my eyes. My eyes. People are always saying how lovely their dark-green color is. Personally, I don’t understand what’s so special, I mean, they’re just eyes.

I slip my favorite tee on, trying not to mess up my braid, which seems to already be falling apart. I smile at the gamercat on my shirt, with it’s shiny white pelt and I-dare-you-to-play-against-me expression. I never tire of seeing it. Raina says that the red color looks great with my hair, but I couldn’t care less. I finish dressing, pick up my cat, then take the stairs two at a time as I smell the chocolate pancakes. Yum!

“Heyo!” I step into the kitchen, picking up my glasses where I left them on the counter last night.

“Morning, sugar,” Ray smiles at me as I plop down at the table.

“Anything new today, Ray?” I ask.

“Not that I know of. How’s your report going?” She replies as she sets a plate of of pancakes in front of me.

“At the moment, it’s not going at all,” I sigh, taking a bite. Mmm! “None of my group wants to work together. I’ve tried to get some notes down to help kick things off, but I can only do so much. I’m tempted to…” Crash! I jump, abandoning my sentence.

Ray and I look at each other for a moment, then stand up to see what fell. My first thought is that it’s Butterscotch, but she’s sitting on the table. My heart beats faster as I poke my head around the corner. Standing there is a man. Well, I think it is a man. It’s man-shaped anyway . The figure is covered head-to-toe in a midnight blue suit. His hands seem to end in claws, his mask seems welded to his face with scraps of cloth stretching across his mouth. On his chest is a lightning bolt symbol, much like the Flash’s, but the same blue as the rest of his suit. His eyes, they don’t seem human. They’re completely black. The more I look, the less sure I am that this thing is a man.

He(it?), is taller than my five-foot-seven height, maybe somewhere around six-foot-four. Great, I think, here I should scared of this thing that is for come reason in our house, but instead I’m trying to figure out how tall it is. Then, as Ray steps in front of me, I realize I am scared. In fact, I’m terrified. My brain was just trying to distract me. I’m not clear what this thing is, but one thing is clear, It’s not friendly.

“Who are you?” Ray demands in her strongest mom-voice. I have to give it to her, she can sound pretty scary herself, but nothing could have prepared me for that thing to talk.

“I am Zoom,” it says. It’s voice is deep and low, but it grates against my ears like chalk scraped across a chalkboard. I clench my teeth, resisting the urge to cover my ears, at the same time thinking, I know that name, but from where? Then it hit me, the attack at Jitters with that guy with the weird scythe. Rupture?

“What do you want, Zoom?” Ray’s voice is steady, but as she puts an arm around my shoulders I can tell she’s scared, too. I can feel her trembling slightly.

“What I want,” it says, giving what might pass as a smile, but it looks evil and twisted, “Is Kathren.”

I blink at it(him?) for a moment, then realize, it’s talking about me. Ray’s grip tightens, but I hardly notice, sputtering, “W-w-why me?”

“Because,” it replies, apparently thinking this should be obvious, “I need you.”

“I’m sorry,” I snap back, “But I don’t help evil mad men who are intent on killing people.” I try to sound confident, like people ask me thing everyday, but I’m not sure how well it is working, “You’ll have to ask someone else.”

That might have been a mistake. “I wasn’t asking,” I can practically feel it’s glare burning a hole through my head. Then, I hear Ray’s scream as the thing superspeeds it’s way forward. The last thing I remember is Ray’s panicked blue-gray eyes staring at Zoom as the world goes black.

Before we go on, I would like to point out that, at the time, all I knew of my meta-abilities was was that I could make things explode, but even that was at random. Also, I wasn’t really thinking about that at the time Zoom showed up, because really, if an evil six-foot-four speedster shows up in your home suddenly, the fact that you can make things explode is the last thing on your mind. Though thinking back, if I had made him explode… Anyway, on we go!

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